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MACONDRAY AND COMPANY INC.

, in its capacity as ship agent of the S/S "TAI PING", petitioner,


vs.
ACTING COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, respondent. (1975)

FACTS:

1) The vessel S/S TAI PING", of which petitioner is the local agent, arrived at the port of Manila from San
Francisco, California, U.S.A., conveying various shipments of merchandise, among which was a shipment of
one (1) coil carbon steel, one (1) bundle carbon steel flat and one (1) carton containing carbon tool holders
carbide cutters, ground, all of which appeared in the Bill of Lading No. 22, consigned to Bogo Medellin
Millings Co., Inc.
2) The shipment, except the one (1) coil carbon steel was not reflected in the Inward Cargo Manifest as
required by Section 1005 in relation to Section 2521 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.
3) Allied Brokerage Corporation, acting for and in behalf of Bogo Medellin Milling Co. requested petitioner
Macondray & Co., agent of the vessel S/S TAI PING", to correct the manifest of the steamer so that it may
take delivery of the goods at Customs House.
4) Meanwhile, the Collector of Customs required herein petitioner to explain and show cause why no
administrative fine should be imposed upon said vessel.
5) Letter of Plaintiff It appears from our client's records that the disputed shipment was described in the
ship's manifest as "1 coil carbon steel" only. However, the bill of lading issued and surrendered to our client,
duly endorsed by the consignee, called for the delivery of 1 coil carbon steel, 1 bundle carbon steel flat and
1 carbon containing tool holders carbide cutters ground. Upon investigation by our client, it was verified that
the vessel actually carried on board and discharged at Manila 3 as called for in the bill of lading. By a letter
dated November 15, 1962, our client immediately applied with your Bureau for the appropriate
amendment on an approved customs form to reflect the true correct description of the shipment and
to effect its release from the customs house.
6) Letter of Collector of Customs xxx The records of this Office show that the vesels under your agency
have oftentimes failed to declare correctly the cargoes they convey as covered by the pertinent bill of lading.
Intentionally, or otherwise, such incorrect preparation of cargo manifests cannot be tolerated for it does not
only enhance the commission of fraud but also makes smuggling suspicious since it renders difficult tracing
of the source of contraband goods. In passing, it may be stated that your vessels have been found
committing the same violations despite the warnings heretofore given and which your company has not
given any concern. As a matter of fact, your vessel have oftentimes been reported committing the same
violations, which conduct is tantamount to willful and deliberate defiance of constituted authority.
7) A fine of P1k was ordered to be paid by Customs which the Plaintiff paid under protest.

ISSUE:

Whether the Collector of Customs erred in imposing a fine on the vessel S/S Tai Ping for alleged violation of
Tariff and Customs Code for landing unmanifested cargo at the port of Manila? NO!!

RATIO:

PETIONER - contends that from "the fact the whole shipment was indicated in the bill of lading, it is clear that the
deficiency of the original vessel's manifest was adequately supplied by the entries of said bill of lading and, therefore,
no violation of the provision of the Tariff and Customs Code, was committed."

SC NO!! We do not subscribe to such conclusion.

Sections 1004 and 1005, in relation to section 2521 of the Tariff and Customs Code, explicitly provide:

Section 1004. Documents to be produced by master upon entry of a vessel For the purpose of making entry of a
vessel engaged in foreign trade, the master thereof shall present the following documents, duly certified by him, to
the customs boarding official:.
a. The original manifest of all cargo destined for the port, to be returned with the indorsement of the boarding official;
b. Three copies of the same manifest, one of which upon certification by the boarding official as to the correctness of
the copy, shall be returned to the master;

Section 1005. Manifest required of vessel from foreign port. Every vessel from a foreign port must have on board a
complete manifest of all her cargo.

All of the cargo intended to be landed at a port, in the Philippines, must be described in separate manifests for each
port of call therein. Each manifest shall include the port of departure and the port of delivery with the marks, numbers,
quantity and description of the packages and the names of the consignees thereof.

Section 2521. Failure to supply requisite manifests. If any vessel or aircraft enters or departs from a port of entry
without submitting the proper manifests to the customs authorities, or shall enter or depart conveying unmanifested
cargo other than as stated in the next proceeding section hereof, such vessel or aircraft shall be fined in a sum not
exceeding ten thousand pesos.

The same fine shall be imposed upon any arriving or departing vessel or aircraft if the master or pilot in command
shall fail to deliver or mail to the Auditor General a true copy of the manifest of the incoming or outgoing cargo, as
required by law.

The inclusion of the unmanifested cargoes in the Bill of Lading does not satisfy the requirement of the aforequoted
sections of the Tariff and Customs Code. It is to be noted that nowhere in the said section is the presentation of a Bill
of Lading required, but only the presentation of a Manifest containing a true and accurate description of the cargoes.

DIFFERENCE OF BOL AND CARGO MANIFEST - This is for the simple reason that while a manifest is a declaration
of the entire cargo, a bill of lading is but a declaration of a specific part of the cargo and is a matter of business
convenience based exclusively on a contract.

The object of a manifest is to furnish the customs officers with a list to check against, to inform our revenue officers
what goods are being brought into the country, and to provide a safeguard against goods being brought into this
country on a vessel and then smuggled ashore.

In short, while a bill of lading is ordinarily merely a convenient commercial instrument designed to protect the importer
or consignee, a manifest of the cargo is absolutely essential to the exportation or importation of property in all
vessels, the evident intent and object of which is to impose upon the owners and officers of such vessel an imperative
obligation to submit lists of the entire loading of the ship in the prescribed form, to facilitate the labors of the customs
and immigration officers and to defeat any attempt to make use of such vessels to secure the unlawful entry of
persons or things into the country.

Since therefore, the purpose served by the manifest is far different from that of the bill of lading, We cannot acceptor
place an imprimatur on the contention of petitioner that the entries in the bill of lading adequately supplied the
deficiency of the manifest and cured it of its infirmity. The mandate of the law is clear and We cannot settle for less.

The amendment on the manifest made by petitioner was not a valid amendment for there was no prior approval by
the Collector of Customs when it was done. Also, no amended manifest was ever presented during the hearing in
spite of ample time requested by ad granted to the petitioners to enable them to produce such document.

The philosophy and purpose behind the law authorizing amendment, under paragraph 3 of Section 1005 of the Tariff
and Customs Code, is to protect innocent importers or consignees from the mistake or unlawful acts of the master.